Reporters, fact-checkers, and academics routinely urge us to avoid "misinformation." The problem is, these trusted sources often spread the very nonsense they warn us about. I make the case over at BigThink.
The world has a misinformation problem. “Inaccurate information spreads widely and at speed,” the World Health Organization warns, “making it more difficult for the public to identify verified facts and advice from trusted sources.”
But the problem isn’t just a dozen anti-vaccine activists who spread nonsense on social media or environmental activists who gin up popular opposition to GMOs and low-risk pesticides. To be sure, these fringe voices do confuse consumers and undermine scientific thinking, though they’re not the only culprits.
The uncomfortable truth is that academic scientists routinely publish questionable research that attracts widespread media attention, adding to the morass of “inaccurate information” circulating online. If we want to get this problem under control, we need our trusted sources to quit releasing untrustworthy information.
Read the whole story over at BigThink:
Misinformation abounds because “trusted” sources promote untrustworthy information